The Daily Telegraph
‘Toyboy’ jailed for swindling late movie star Lollobrigida
AN ITALIAN “toyboy”’ has been jailed for three years after being found guilty of swindling Hollywood actress Gina Lollobrigida out of millions of pounds of property, cash, cars and jewellery.
A court in Rome convicted Andrea Piazzolla of embezzling €10million (£8.7 million) of assets from the estate of the star – who appeared opposite the likes of Sean Connery, Rock Hudson and Tony Curtis – from 2013 to 2018.
In her heyday, Lollobrigida was a huge star on both sides of the Atlantic. Nicknamed “La Lollo” by Italians, she later became a sculptor, photographer and ambassador for Unicef before her death in January at the age of 95. Humphrey Bogart once said of her: “She made Marilyn Monroe look like Shirley Temple.”
Piazzolla, who was described as a “toyboy” and “factotum” by the Italian media, was found guilty of taking advantage of Lollobrigida’s age and vulnerable mental state to con her out of much of her estate.
He was ordered to pay €500,000 in compensation to the actress’s heirs.
Prosecutors had asked for a heavier jail sentence of seven and a half years.
Piazzolla started working for Lollobrigida as an assistant in 2009, when he was 21. He won her confidence, became her companion and eventually moved into her villa in Rome. The pair were often seen together at glitzy events.
Among the assets he was accused of fraudulently acquiring was an F-type Jaguar, which he allegedly sold in 2018 for €130,000, pocketing the proceeds.
He was also accused of selling two apartments near the city’s Spanish Steps for €2 million.
Prosecutors said that he kept the former sex symbol “in isolation” from her family and “in a state of vulnerability”.
He denied the charges and, shortly before the verdict was delivered, told the court on Monday: “I believe I was the only one who took care of Gina Lollobrigida with love.”
Prosecutor Eleonora Fini told the court in September: “The relationship between the victim and the defendant was unbalanced. There was manipulation on his part and a series of actions which were contrary to the interests of Gina Lollobrigida.”
Ms Fini accused Piazzolla of taking advantage of her “fragile state”.
Piazzolla’s legal team acknowledged that he ended up with much of her estate but insisted that the transfer of assets was completed with her consent.
Lawyer Filippo Morlacchini insisted that Lollobrigida’s last years had been happy and fulfilled “thanks to the affectionate care of this young man”.